cover image Shadow Music: A Maggie O’Shea Mystery

Shadow Music: A Maggie O’Shea Mystery

Helaine Mario. Oceanview, $26.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-60809-450-9

Mario’s complicated, overstuffed third mystery featuring classical pianist Maggie O’Shea (after 2018’s Dark Rhapsody) opens in 1985 on the Hungarian border, where two young women and a baby are hiding in the woods, waiting for their chance to escape to freedom in Austria. Three soldiers arrive. One of the women is shot; the other flees with the baby. The scene shifts to present-day Boston, where Maggie, whose investigative journalist husband was lost at sea when his boat exploded 18 months earlier, is slowly building a relationship with Michael Beckett, “a man as stony and rugged as the mountains he loved.” An invitation to perform at London’s Festival Hall with a Russian orchestra catapults Maggie into a search for a missing Van Gogh, the investigation of a Russian accountant’s murder, a trip to Cornwall to discover the fate of a lost love, and a hunt for a lost concerto. In the action-packed denouement, Mario ably ties up the various plot strands—including the incident at the Hungarian border—of what amounts to a romantic suspense thriller. Newcomers are advised to start with the first in the series. (Sept.)